Financial independence is one challenge that a lot of women struggle with on a regular basis. Especially if you grew up in a traditional conservative Filipino household, the mindset that the husband should always be the primary (and often, sole) provider is quite common.
But times are a-changing and women are starting to step up. There are families where the wife is the sole breadwinner, and there are those who contribute just as much as their husbands or partners. There are also women who live independently and concentrate on their own lives, not leaving any room for boyfriends, domestic partners, or spouses.
Regardless of your situation, it’s high time you start planning for your own financial future without having to think about who can rescue you when you run out of shopping money or who you can go halfsies with when any of the bills come.
Here are a few things you would have to remember if you want to be financially independent:
Be hands on with your planning!
Parents, boyfriends, spouses – don’t let everyone else do the planning for you or with you. Remember that there would always be a tendency that your finances would be distributed to everything spent around your home and around everyone else’s benefit if you don’t stand firm and demand for total control of your income.
Of course, this does not mean that you would have to neglect all other responsibilities as well. If you live with other people, you would still have to chip in. If you have a family, they should still be part of your priorities. What I’m saying here is that you should be able to allocate your own funds accordingly without having someone looking over your shoulder and demanding how your budgeting should go.
You never know what’s going to happen. Especially for mums and women who have dependents (like elderly parents or young siblings), you also have to think about what’s going to happen to them if you pass away earlier than expected, or meet an accident that pushes you to stop working for some time. It’s not about being morbid – it’s about facing reality and being ready for whatever’s coming.
Find the right insurance coverage that protects you in case of both death and injury. The last thing you want to happen is to wake up one day, unable to work, but seeing the need to pay off hospital bills and other costs incurred during your hospital stay.
You may have a full-time job, or you may be a full-time mom. Regardless of what you’re doing now, there would always be a million ways for you to earn extra income. For those who have full-time jobs, consider setting some of your salary aside to invest in a business you can start. This way, you’re earning a full-time salary while letting your money grow in the background.
If you’re a stay-at-home mom or wife, there are a million opportunities online! Start a blog and earn extra from ads and sponsorships. You can also find something you’re extremely good at and start from there. You can, for example, bake goodies for friends who need them for parties, or do alterations for people around the neighborhood in case you have a working sewing machine at home or are pretty handy with needles.
We’ve heard it all before. A lot of women have said the line so many times. “I earned it, I get to spend it.” While this is true, having this as a permanent mindset could get you in trouble one day.
And you know what? It’s typical. We women have always been branded as shopaholics, creatures that become uncontrollable the moment we see designer clothes and fancy footwear. Out of 10 girls you ask, more than half of them would probably tell you that they’re working so that they can go shopping.
This is a mindset that we have to break as women.
While it’s great to have nice things, you also have to think about your needs versus your wants. You may have the hottest outfits today, but these outfits won’t feed you when you lose your job. Even if you sell them later on, their value would have depreciated, which means that you incur losses, not gains.
So go shopping. Just make sure you won’t go hungry or say goodbye to a great retirement because of it.
Past research has shown that women are less likely to know anything about investments as compared to men. And although the number of women entrepreneurs and investors may have risen in recent years, the numbers still do not match up with that of men’s.
Not that we’re competing on who’s investing more. It’s just that if women want to be more financially independent, they should also explore more investment options where they can have passive income.
Learn more about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investment types. Start investing into what you think suits your budget and your financial goals the most. You don’t have to start big, aim for some of the smaller investments first, especially if you don’t have the kind of money required for other investments. Once your patience and your investments pay off, it would be easy enough to start investing in other things that could double, triple or quadruple your initial cash out for you.
Who says money can’t be financially independent. Men do, most of the time. But it’s about time we proved them wrong.
Start taking these tips seriously and start investing on your freedom. After all, you only have two choices – look back one day and feel regret that you didn’t heed our advice right away, or someday feel accomplished, fulfilled and financially independent, thankful that you listened at the get-go.Special thanks to Mengjie Jo for the main image.